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Our Insights

The Cost of Divorce in Maryland and DC

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The cost of a divorce varies depending on the issues involved and whether the divorce disputes can be resolved without a lengthy court fight. In both Maryland and Washington DC, the spouses need to resolve the division of their marital property and whether any alimony should be awarded. If there are children, then the parents need to determine which parent (or both) will have physical and legal custody of their children. The parents will also need to create a parenting/visitation plan. A child support order must also be entered for all the children.

Our experienced divorce lawyers work with our clients since we understand that many clients don’t have immediate access to all of their funds. There are several ways, our Maryland and Washington DC family lawyers help spouses understand and manage how much their divorce will cost.

  • The initial consultation. We know that you have many questions about the divorce process, your financial rights, and the well-being of you and your children. That’s why your initial discussion with us is important. We want to fully understand your needs and your goals. We want you to have a good idea about how the divorce process works.
  • We prepare a fee agreement letter. At the end of the initial consultation, we’ll prepare a written fee agreement letter that explains how much we charge, what services we will provide you, and when payments are due. We normally charge an hourly fee. You will also be required to fund your case with an initial deposit into your escrow account.
  • We explain how mediation or collaborative divorce can reduce the time/hours needed to resolve your conflicts and move forward with your life.
  • Our experience means that we can move quickly towards a resolution of your case. Even if your case must be litigated before a judge – our experience means we understand what financial information we need from you and your spouse, what questions need to be asked about your financial affairs and your children, how to move your case towards a court hearing, and how to draft agreements that cover the current disputes and anticipate future disputes such as changes to a child visitation plan.
  • Alimony pendente lite (temporary alimony). When we represent a spouse who is not in as financially as secure a position as her/his spouse, we seek temporary alimony so that you have the funds you need to continue living as you did before the divorce was filed – and so you’re your spouse can’t pressure you into an unsound settlement because of your financial circumstances.

How much does it cost?

According to an article published in TheStreet, the national average cost of divorce is approximately $15,000. “The time involved is what often determines the cost. For instance, the average divorce takes between four months and 11 months. And if a trial is necessary, it can take more than a year.” The cost of the divorce includes attorney fees, court filing fees, and other expert fees. If your divorce is uncontested, it usually costs much less than the national average quoted above.

How mediation and collaboration help reduce the cost of a divorce

Many divorces can be resolved without a full-scale court fight. In many cases, after the initial shock of the divorce filing, the spouses realize that it’s better for them and their children if the divorce dispute issues are settled amicably. You and your spouse/partner understand your family situation much better than a judge. In most cases, even high-asset divorces, there are many ways to resolve disputes by prioritizing your needs such as trading off your interest in your spouse’s retirement accounts so you can keep the family home or a business. It’s best to reach agreements about child custody and visitation so the children don’t feel like they have to take sides.

In mediation, the spouses and their lawyers meet with a neutral family law professional called a mediator. The mediator works with both spouses to try to forge a settlement. The mediator is often either an experienced family lawyer or a professional trained in resolving disputes. You and your spouse meet at the mediator’s office instead of in a courtroom. Even if multiple mediation sessions are needed, the time to prepare for the mediation and attend the mediation is often much less than the time needed for a trial. The time you and your spouse save means that the legal fees should be less than if a judge decides your case. The mediator does not decide your case. He/she works to find common ground between you and your spouse/partner.

In a collaborative divorce, the spouses and the lawyers meet with professionals who can help give input and advice. Professionals can include a collaborative divorce specialist; financial specialists who can value businesses, retirement plans, and other assets; child psychologists, and other professionals. A collaborative divorce is also generally much lost costly and much less time-consuming than a contested divorce.

Make an appointment with a respected Maryland and Washington DC divorce lawyer today

Experience matters. At The Law Offices of Thomas Stahl, we’ve been representing spouses in divorces for 13 years. Mr. Stahl has been recognized by the Maryland Super Lawyers for his skilled family law representation. Attorney Avigayil Pearlman concentrates her practice in the area of family law. Our lawyers understand what factors are critical for each type of divorce dispute. We understand what issues judges consider important.

In many divorces, we are able to work out agreements with your spouse’s lawyer due to our reputation as aggressive skilled family lawyers. We fight to get spouses the financial outcomes they deserve. We explain how the child custody and child support laws work and what custody and visitation plans are in your children’s best interests. To discuss your divorce case with a caring family lawyer, call us at (410) 696-4326 or (202) 964-7280, or contact us online, to schedule a consultation.

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